If you see someone with eyes
so sad that it bleeds
blue as the lonely sea…
tell him that I love him,
as deep as the same sea,
just as blue and as big.
I slept well. For the first time in what seemed like a long time, I felt like myself the next morning, like I was going to attend college and go through my daily routine. But I was not and there was a certain sense of freedom without having toalways be on my toes with the clock racing. There were no clocks, and all I had was the sun. Funny how primitive that sounded, but it actually felt liberating.
I was up early because the were crowing; their loud melodious voices had woken me up. As I lay there with my eyes open, staring at the ceiling wondering if I’ll ever go back home, I heard his door open. He walked into the kitchen; his footsteps were soft. He opens its door and grabs his pole. Maybe he actually went into the kitchen last night. I retired rather early. Does that mean he ate my stew along with the sweets? I hope he did, he needs food. I heard a soft clank of the small bucket and his soft footsteps on the stairs. And then silence prevailed.
I got out of my bed. Curiosity suddenly arose in me. I wanted to follow him, see where he fishes, but I looked outside the window and frowned. The sun was still not up although the sky was gaining some color. I ignored it and went out. I shivered a little at the cool wind on my skin. I wished I had a jacket. I went back to my room and took one of the blankets, the thinner one and headed out, sighing at the coziness of the blanket.
My footsteps were loud compared to his. I reminisced about the time when my mother said I had soft feet and was saddened. I missed her. I wonder how they are all coping with this situation. It must be hard. After all, I am worse than dead for them.
Shoving my sadness aside and also the bitterness towards the grimy haired guy, I followed him from a safe distance. He was already above the little rocky hill and was climbing downwards. The wind was harsher out here, and I noticed that he was wearing only a T-shirt. Was he made of steel or something? I wanted to hate him for what he did to me, and in a way I wanted to kill him, but I couldn’t. There was something about him that made me want to care for him, and it scared me. Why can I not hate him like a normal person would?
I walked faster and was soon climbing the rocky hill. It was not much of a slope and it was rather an easy climb, almost enjoyable. The sky was now a light blue signaling the arrival of a new day. I reached the top and a gasp left my lips. It was beautiful. From here I could see the shoreline even better. The shore over here was not sandy, rather it was all rock. Further from here, I saw a group of women wearing tight snorkeling suits. They were probably going pearl fishing or hunting for really good seafood. I focused on where he was and saw him making himself comfortable above a rock that was closer to the water.
I huffed as I saw him shiver a little due to the cold winds, proudly shoving past without care. I walked down carefully so that he wouldn’t hear me, but of course, he noticed since he turned back and glared at me with a frown. I said nothing but quietly went and sat down some feet away from him, in a higher place. He sighed and went back to arranging his poles. He had a small cup, one which I hadn’t noticed before and dug out a small worm. I cringed at that but thought I wanted to try it too as he hooked it.
He threw it into the water and began waiting. Just right in front of us, the majestic sun arose. It was rich yellow and sent out its golden arms all around us. I gasped out loud. It was breath-taking. Maybe he comes here for this each morning, but I saw him, and I frowned. He wasn't even looking; rather he was gloomily looking at the water.
“Hey…” I spoke softly. He clearly tensed again, “Lift your head and look at the sun. Look at how beautiful the sunrise is.”
He did not move for a few good seconds, but he slowly lifted his head and looked straight ahead. We watched the sun until it became too bright for our eyes.
“It’s like a miracle, isn’t it?” I said as I glanced at the bright blue sky now. I was hugging my knees for comfort and snuggled inside the blanket. The birds came out crying. “The sunrise represents a new day for us every morning as if it wants to tell us that the darkness is gone, and now there is light. Live your life and everything will be okay because even if it’s dark again I will come back. I think sunrises are the most profound and beautiful things ever.”
We sat for a very long time until our stomach began to rumble. As we walked back with me behind him, I noticed that there were no fishes in his little rusty iron bucket.
* * *
The day was warm and the sea looked appealing. I was done with cleaning the house and I intended to go down to find more resources again, but the urge to go down and run along the sandy shores, and maybe go for a swim was strong. I cooked again and was really glad to find that yesterday night’s stew is all gone. I wanted to have rice and bread with butter and all the food that we had to eat before at home. I made breakfast with the leftover ingredients as best as I could. Mr. Byun had wandered off and I was at ease with myself at home.
Maybe I could go down and do some work instead of hoarding free stuff.
That day, I barely saw him. I went down and asked if I could do anything to earn for food. They were ecstatic at that prospect and asked me if I could teach their children because there isn't a school here and they had to send their kids to a nearby island to be taught, which isn’t closeby and they had to spend a generous amount of money for that which they hardly afford considering they were exploited by the pearl buyers. I was moved, of course at their plight and said that I will start right away!
The children were all ten and below as the older ones were sent off. There were pencils and notebooks at least, which were i